There are many ways to consider oneself wealthy – relationships, experiences, quality of life. However, the underpinning of having the ability to provide for family, friends, and margin to invest in ways of improving the world comes with money. Many of us were taught that if we did well in school, got a great job, and worked hard, we’d eventually earn a lot of money and be wealthy. This may be true for some. Congrats! However, it’s likely less true than we’d like it to be for the majority of working adults. There is a great limitation in the amount of income once we can earn when working for someone else that we don’t often learn about in school. That limitation is the control we have over the one thing we can’t make more of. Time. There are only so many hours in a week. No one can buy or create more.

For example, while the average US-based physician makes approximately $200,000 per year, there are far fewer making a million dollars a year. Considering the investment of time (and money) that it takes to become a physician, and maintain a thriving practice, this hardly feels like a strong return. Physicians are likely in their profession for more than money, but even theyare swapping time for money. Doctors are paid based on patient interactions, and there is a limit to how many patients one doctor can see in a given day. The clock ultimately limits income. 

This is also true for consultants, dentists, lawyers, and CEOs. Spoiler alert. This is also true for all working adults, regardless of industry or position. That’s why it is important to think about earning in a way that isn’t limited to only what you can do. If you want the opportunity to make more money and be wealthy, it’s important to find ways to earn without your presence being necessary. Free yourself from the clock, expand your ideas of what’s possible beyond your own effort, and your ability to earn is unlimited.  

There are better ways: 

  • Get paid more than once for the same work. Think about artists, authors, and musicians. In their respective businesses, they’re able to get paid repeatedly for the same work.  An author can write a book and then sell a million copies over the next 10 years. During that time, she may have written 20 more books. What could be better than getting paid multiple times for the same work?
  • Do something that allows you to receive recurring payments. Leasing office space or other real estate to others keeps money coming in while you do other things. Building a website and leasing it is a similar strategy.
  • Be an investor. The great thing about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and similar investments is the ability to make money with little work on your part. You’re essentially making money while you sleep. You could also loan money to others.
  • Outsource / arbitrage. Many people set up businesses and then outsource all the work. This is especially true online. For example, there are people that sell website building services. These same people then hire someone else at a reduced rate to do all the work.  Likewise, Ghostwriters write many of the e-books sold on sites like Amazon. The listed author paid someone else to write the book. If you can successfully buy something for $X and sell it for $X+Y, you can potentially make money with little work.
  • Create passive income. A website that sells an affiliate product can make money while you sleep and is a form of passive income. It’s not difficult to build a website that makes a mere $5/day, but keep in mind that’s over $1,800/yr.

Time is a limitation for all of us. So far, no one has lived forever. But time doesn’t have to limit your income. The well-known professions we’ve discussed – Doctors, Lawyers, and CEOs – may be wealthy, but you have even great financial potential if you can break free from swapping your time for money.  Uncertainty stops many people. Open your mind to what is possible, rather than working from the perspective of what is not. You’ll be surprised at the difference in your approach, and – hopefully – in the balance of your bank account. 

Get started today and build an income stream that isn’t dependent on your time or presence. You’ll enjoy getting paid while you’re not at work!